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Thread: New Easy Set Pool Owner

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    New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Hello everyone.

    I am a new Intex Easy Set 18' x 48" pool owner. Got the pool set up over the weekend and filled it on Sunday. I am trying to get a handle on chemical levels now. I asked a friend who has had an Easy Set for a few years now what he does for treatment and as a result of that conversation, I got the hth 3 Way Test Kit along with the floaty chlorine dispenser and the trichor tabs, some pH Plus, pH Minus and the Vinyl Pool Shock. I guess I should have come here first. It sounds like the floaty thingy and the tablets are a recipe for disaster as the CYA builds up in the water. Sounds like I need to get a better test kit, some liquid chlorine, some baking soda, and some borax. I have read on the BBB method (great Pool School) and will likely be implementing that.

    But here is what I have done so far. I tested the pool on Monday night. No chlorine was detected accroding to the OTO test kit. pH looked to be about 8.0. I "shocked" it according to the package directions and Tuesday afternoon, the chlorine was off the color chart. I also added some pH Minus.

    This afternoon the test results were as follows:
    FAC: 5
    pH: 7.6
    The water looks great! It is nice and sparkly and clear.



    But then it has only been up for 3 days.

    Those are the only values I have since I don't have a good test kit yet.

    My questions are:

    How quickly does the CYA build up to the point where the chlorine becomes ineffective? Do I need to get a better test kit right away and switch to the liquid chlorine or can I wait a couple of weeks? It seems from what I gathered from the reading I have done here is that I need to test at a minimum FAC, pH, TA, and CYA. Is this correct?

    Any other tips or heads up advice would be appreciated as well.

    Thanks for your help and for making such a great resource of information available.

    Dave
    Intex Easy Set 18' x 42" AG
    5400 gal
    Intex Krystal Clear Model 635 pump, 1500 gph
    Type "A" cartridge filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    HI and Welcome!

    Yes, a good test kit is a must. We recommend 2, one is only sold online and the other is virtually impossible to find instores, so save yourself the search and order one online tonight.

    The thing with the intex filters - people tend to try and use them longer than they should, especially after a problem develops. They are meant to be tossed after a week or two. Be sure to check out their website for filtration tips. Once you have a problem with the intex pumps/filters, it can quickly turn into a nightmare, so your best bet is avoiding the problem in the first place, and you're going in the right direction by finding us. Armed with a good test kit, you can avoid many if not all problems.

    Your water looks great! If you want to keep it that way, make sure you keep adequate chlorine levels. The trichlor is okay to use provided you understand what they do. They will raise your CYA, and they will lower your PH. So use the PH up that you bought to keep the PH at 7.6, if it falls below 7.3. When your PH up runs out, you can use Borax or Washing Soda from the laundry aisle at the grocery store - they are the same thing as PH UP only cheaper. We really need to know your TA levels....until your test kit arrives, can you get a full set of test results from a local pool store? Don't buy anything from them, just get the water tested and post the results back here.

    Without CYA, the sunlight consumes ALL of the FC. With Too much CYA, if you don't keep the corresponding FC level, you will get algae. See the Chart Chart in my Sig. As your CYA goes up, so MUST your FC level minimum.

    So you have a while to go - for every 10ppm of FC, trichlor tabs add 9 CYA. How many pounds of trichlor do you have? You can use the "Effects of Adding Chemicals" section of the Pool Calculator - for every ounce of trichlor it will tell you how much FC and CYA you are adding, and it will tell you how much it will lower the PH.

    The vinyl shock - does it say Calcium Hypochlorite? That's okay to use for awhile, depends on your current CH level - and you must keep your PH below 7.8 to prevent scaling from calcium.

    YOu can use the trichlor for awhile, provided you test daily - but you don't want your CYA to go above 50. Make sure you keep the minimum FC in your pool at all times. So until your CYA level builds up, you need to maintain a FC of 2. Is someone home during the day who can check and add chlorine if necessary? As the CYA increases, increase the minimum FC level too.

    Hope this helps. I hope I covered your questions.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Did I mention how much you will come to love the Pool Calculator- use it to figure out how much of each product to add.

    Play with it, get to know it, it will be your pools BFF.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom

    HI and Welcome!

    Yes, a good test kit is a must. We recommend 2, one is only sold online and the other is virtually impossible to find instores, so save yourself the search and order one online tonight.
    Well, my wife is sort of balking at spending $68 on a test kit so I'll have to work on that. She is liking the 5 way test kit that she saw at Walmart so we'll see what happens. We live in a pretty rural area. There used to be one pool store (sort of) in town but I'll have to check and see if they are even still open.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    So you have a while to go - for every 10ppm of FC, trichlor tabs add 9 CYA. How many pounds of trichlor do you have?
    I have a 5 pound container of trichlor tabs, which if I am reading the calculator correctly, would raise the CYA to 61. Since I am having to add a little water each day, does this suggest that CYA buildup won't be much of a problem for awhile -- at least until I can get a test kit for it? I know this is just a guess without an actual tested number.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    The vinyl shock - does it say Calcium Hypochlorite? That's okay to use for awhile, depends on your current CH level - and you must keep your PH below 7.8 to prevent scaling from calcium.
    Yes, I believe it does say Calcium Hypochlorite of 47.5% or something like that. How often should I shock it? Is there some sort of metric for that?

    Thanks for your help?

    Dave
    Intex Easy Set 18' x 42" AG
    5400 gal
    Intex Krystal Clear Model 635 pump, 1500 gph
    Type "A" cartridge filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Yes, it sounds like you are using the pool calc correctly.

    You only need to shock if there's a problem, For instance if your CC is higher than .5, if your water is dull, cloudy or greenish/murky. You can use the cal-hypo for that if you like. The other reason to shock would be if you were leaving for an extended vacation, you could shock and then cover the pool to cut down on evaporation/FC loss while you're gone.

    The problem with the 5-way, is it won't test CYA or CC and it won't test FC above 5. So you are very limited, but it's more accurate than strips. The good kit, if stored in a cool dark place will last you 2 summers at least, and it's really the best out there...so it's a better bang for the buck than the walmart kit. I tried to get by with the Wal-mart 6 way my first summer of BBB, but it just doesn't cut it.

    Re: adding water each day? Evaporation loss? No, evaporation just causes the CYA to concentrate, and then re-adding water dilutes it back to the same level it was before. Splash out - water replacement does lower CYA slowly overtime. So it's really hard to say, you need to be able to test for the CYA if you are going to use a product like trichlor.

    Glad to assist.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    If you can, buy a "real" pump and filter for your pool. If you(or DW) isn't into the price of a new filter, look on Craigslist or eBay. We also have an Intex Easyset pool and this is will be our 9th summer(I think) with it. We bought our pump and sand filter at a garage sale for $40 and it has to be the single best investment in the pool we've ever made(second would be adding solar heat).

    If I remember right, we were washing the Intex carts at least once a week, and it got old REAL fast. Course, it's been 7 years since I've done that soo...

    I'll also echo what the others have said about getting a good test kit. It is probably the single most valuable tool for maintaining an algae free pool. You can use the Trichlor for a while if your calc. is right and the 5lbs will give you 61ppm CYA. I use Trichlor in the spring after a fresh fill to bring my CYA up, then switch to Liquid Chlorine. Just keep an eye on your PH using the Triclor because it will lower PH.

    Good luck,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by launboy
    If you can, buy a "real" pump and filter for your pool.
    I'd wondered about that. From many of the reviews I have read, most folks felt that the included pump wasn't really adequate -- especially if you were trying to use the skimmer or the vacuum.

    What size pump would I need for this pool? What sort of specs do I look for? Does HP equate directly to GPH?

    Thanks for your help.

    Dave
    Intex Easy Set 18' x 42" AG
    5400 gal
    Intex Krystal Clear Model 635 pump, 1500 gph
    Type "A" cartridge filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    If you have a few spare minutes today....

    Read this thread - it was the "saga of the Intex pool" last summer, and in the end AustinsMom found a sand filter/pump combo that worked for her pool. The thread's a little long but theres lots of interesting info in it. Perhaps you might find something useful.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/post58945.html#p58945
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    If you have a few spare minutes today....

    Read this thread - it was the "saga of the Intex pool" last summer, and in the end AustinsMom found a sand filter/pump combo that worked for her pool. The thread's a little long but theres lots of interesting info in it. Perhaps you might find something useful.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/post58945.html#p58945
    Oh my!! What a nightmare. That's one determined lady. That was a very informative thread -- and has me a little worried.

    I'm still trying to convince my wife that we need the $68 test kit. I don't know if I'd have much luck convincing her that we need a different pump. I may just order the test kit anyway (easier to ask for forgivness than to ask for permission at times ) and hopefully armed with very accurate numbers -- and a truckload of clean filter cartridges -- we will make it through the summer with no disasters.

    Dave
    Intex Easy Set 18' x 42" AG
    5400 gal
    Intex Krystal Clear Model 635 pump, 1500 gph
    Type "A" cartridge filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    What's the phrase "an ounce of prevention"....I think if you can stave off problems with proper testing and FC levels, you'll be in good shape with the rest of the summer, and you can always upgrade the equipment next year.

    Go ahead and order the kit. I won't tell her.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Honestly, I was skeptical of the "pricey" test kit at first. But I bit the bullet and ordered it. I COULDN'T be happier. It is worth EVERY penny. It's easy to use and you get quick accurate results. No more guessing...yeahhh!!!
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
    1 HP Hayward Power-Flo pump w/Hayward 18" 150lb. sand filter
    TF-100 test kit & SpeedStir
    Wanda the Whale Vacuum

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    I'll forgive you for her!

    I forgive you! Enjoy the kit!

    P.S. It's really the best investment for your pool!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Go ahead and order the kit. I won't tell her.
    Trouble is . . . the UPS guy that delivers to our house also delivers to her work. So sometimes, he drops off packages there if he is pressed for time.

    Nah . . . all kidding aside . . . if I had her read that thread from AustinsMom, I am sure I could convince her of the need for it. Hopefully before a problem crops up.

    Dave
    Intex Easy Set 18' x 42" AG
    5400 gal
    Intex Krystal Clear Model 635 pump, 1500 gph
    Type "A" cartridge filter

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    More Questions

    Threads Merged for Consistency by Moderator.

    Well, yesterday I started what I imagine will be a pretty regular Saturday monring routine with the pool. I went out and washed out the filter. (Every other Saturday I will replace it.) Ran the pump for 30 minutes then tested the water. Attached the Intex vacuum and vacuumed the bottom. When I checked the bag I was surprised to see how much stuff it actually picked up. Then I put the skimmer on and let it run for an hour or so until we were ready to get in the pool. Didn't have time to brush the sides and the bottom but I did that after the swimming was over and before I put the cover on.

    I have a few questions though. When I tested the chlorine it was about 1. After the kids were done swinning the water in the test kit was very faintly yellow. I added some Trichlor tabs to the floaty. A couple hours later, I tested again, same thing. I covered the pool and went to bed. This morning when I tested it was back up to 1 The pH seems to be hovering right around 7.5,

    Since we are just starting out with this pool and using the Trichlor tabs is it normal for the FAC to be almost nonexistent with the OTO test kit during the sunny day until enough of the Trichlor gets in there to bring up the CYA? Also, will the cover help protect the chlorine from the sun's rays or do the UV rays pass through the cover?

    And another question. Am I better off to cover the pool at night and let the filter run with no skimmer or leave the cover off and run the skimmer when the pump runs at night? I have been religiously covering the pool during the days while we are at work and the kids are at school and at night as well.

    I have bumped up the daily runtime for the pump to 2 blocks of time at 2-1/2 hours each. Does the pump need to run long enough at a single time to turn the pool completely over or can the total time be broken up?

    Thanks for your help.

    Dave
    Intex Easy Set 18' x 42" AG
    5400 gal
    Intex Krystal Clear Model 635 pump, 1500 gph
    Type "A" cartridge filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Hi there - no need to start new threads with various pool related questions - you can keep them all on the same topic.

    You won't build the CYA up quick enough to start - to protect the chlorine. You should supplement with Bleach to keep the FC above 2. Just add enough each nite to raise it up to 2-3 and that should help while the CYA builds. Consider adding CYA seperately - enough to raise it to 30-50ppm.

    The problem with the OTO test is it's just detecting Total Chlorine, not necessarily Free Chlorine. It's the Free Chlorine that keeps your pool sanitized. That 1 could be CC, and you could have 0 FC. KWIM?

    The cover should help with keeping the pool cleaner, and protecting the FC, but it's important to keep FC above 2 at all times or you will end up with green water, ala AustinsMom. Once your CYA is in range, the minimum FC will be more like 3-4.

    I think if the pool is not used during the day the cover will help protect the FC, but I would run it at least 4 hours during the day, for a complete turnover, or whenever there are swimmers and run it an additional 4 hour turnover, at nite if you like. IMHO, with the Intex pools - the more run time the better, despite what their manual says.

    I don't get the 'run the pump with no skimmer' question. How else would you filter out the pollen, etc. if the skimmer weren't running?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I don't get the 'run the pump with no skimmer' question. How else would you filter out the pollen, etc. if the skimmer weren't running?
    With the Intex pump you can run it without the skimmer. Water goes out the pool outlet through the filter and returns through the pool inlet. It also has a skimmer attachment that connects to the pool outlet connector. It has a clip that fits the top ring and is kind of a bucket shaped thing that sits below the water surface to draw water and the floating debris into the skimmer basket. But Intex says don't use the skimmer attachment with the cover on. Come to think of it -- they also say don't run the pump with swimmers in the pool. Now to me, this seems like a great time to run it. Why do they advise against it? The pump doesn't create enough suction to hurt anything. It does pump the water back into the pool with pretty good pressure though. Is it because it is not a hard wired pump? It is plugged into a GFCI outlet though.

    Dave
    Intex Easy Set 18' x 42" AG
    5400 gal
    Intex Krystal Clear Model 635 pump, 1500 gph
    Type "A" cartridge filter

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by DDave
    Since we are just starting out with this pool and using the Trichlor tabs is it normal for the FAC to be almost nonexistent with the OTO test kit during the sunny day until enough of the Trichlor gets in there to bring up the CYA? Also, will the cover help protect the chlorine from the sun's rays or do the UV rays pass through the cover?
    Each 3" trichlor tab will get you 10ppm FC, and 6ppm CYA once it is all dissolved. So you'd need to use up 5 tabs to get to the minimum recommended 30ppm CYA. Until then you really don't have much protection from the sun, except for your cover, and if it's the usual bubble wrap, it's only some protection.

    Tabs dissolve relatively slowly so you're not really getting a lot of FC unless you have a lot of tabs going at once. In my pool, two tabs in a floater will pretty much maintain whatever FC level I started with, with my CYA already at 40. It would take a lot more to get there starting from zero.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: New Easy Set Pool Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Each 3" trichlor tab will get you 10ppm FC, and 6ppm CYA once it is all dissolved. So you'd need to use up 5 tabs to get to the minimum recommended 30ppm CYA. Until then you really don't have much protection from the sun, except for your cover, and if it's the usual bubble wrap, it's only some protection.

    Tabs dissolve relatively slowly so you're not really getting a lot of FC unless you have a lot of tabs going at once. In my pool, two tabs in a floater will pretty much maintain whatever FC level I started with, with my CYA already at 40. It would take a lot more to get there starting from zero.
    My Trichlor tabs are 1" so it sounds like I would need a LOT of them in the floater to start out. I have the floating dispenser open all the way (4 slots visible) so I guess I could add some more tablets.

    I will try to pick up some bleach today or tomorrow and am getting closer to ordering the test kit.

    Dave
    Intex Easy Set 18' x 42" AG
    5400 gal
    Intex Krystal Clear Model 635 pump, 1500 gph
    Type "A" cartridge filter

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